This Is What Homegrown Terrorism Looks Like


President Donald Trump waves farewell to his supporters after speaking at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Fla., in July 2018. Photography from: US-NEWS-FLAGOV-TRUMP-WA. Tribune Content Agency LLC, Chicago, 2018. eLibrary.

On the afternoon of January 6th, not even an entire week into 2021, a mob of Trump supporters bearing guns, MAGA paraphernalia, confederate flags, and mask-less faces invaded the Capitol building during the time frame in which Vice President Mike Pence announced that he would be supporting the legitimate results of the 2020 election. There has been one fatal shooting of a woman and at least fourteen in the Metropolitan Police Department have been injured, along with countless minor injuries to rioters, civilians, and law enforcement. Additionally, six firearms, two pipe bombs, and several molotov cocktails have been located. Rioters have been hanging confederate flags, banners with swastikas on them, and have been looting the vicinity. 

Just hours before, President Donald Trump said that he would “never give up and never concede…We do not want to see our election victory stolen by radical left Democrats, that’s what they’re doing, and stolen by the fake news media, that’s what they’ve done and what they’re doing.”

It is safe to say that his words spurred the insurrection at the Capitol. After being urged to respond and call out the rioters by multiple other political leaders, including president-elect Joe Biden, Trump tweeted: “I am asking everyone in the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence!” 

The President deployed the National Guard, though there has been a lack of military and police response in comparison to the Black Lives Matter peaceful protests in 2020, just a few months ago. There has been outcry from both the public and other political leaders who urge Mr. Trump to firmly and vehemently deny the actions of the MAGA rioters. However, he has yet to take a firm stance against them.

“Go home,” he said to rioters in a recently deleted and controversial video response, originally posted on Twitter. “We love you. You’re very special,” Trump added.

Congress, which was in session to ratify the election results at the time of the break in, was temporarily suspended as members were equipped with gas masks and urged to shelter in place as tear gas was being fired. Senators, including majority leader Mitch McConnel, were escorted out by security. 

“I’m okay,” tweeted Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “Was barricaded in for several hours,” she said. 

The storming of the U.S. Capitol is modern-day fascism. It is homegrown terrorism on a massive scale. According to the fourteen points of fascism, curated by Dr. Lawrence Britt, political scientist via the University of Michigan, Donald Trump has exhibited nearly all of the signs of having a fascist term of leadership, which in turn has negatively influenced those who follow him. Powerful and continuing nationalism (“Make America Great Again” and “America First.”). Supremacy of the military. Rampant sexism. Protection of corporate powers. The oppression of the laboring forces. Exhibiting disdain for the arts and science. Obsession with crime and punishment. And finally, yet seemingly most relevant to the situation of the United States, fraudulent elections

Mr. Trump’s incompetent methods of manipulation via a fascist administration have led to homegrown terrorism, to nationwide mob-mentality, and to backsliding into a culture of hate. In several videos of the Capitol building overrun with Trump supporters, people can be seen, climbing through broken windows and forced-open doors yelling, “Stop the steal!” 

The disturbing part is that these rioters, men and women who overran Capitol security with firearms, explosive devices, and paintball guns were met with considerably less adversity than those who were peacefully (and rightfully) protesting the murders of Americans like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Where is the military grade riot gear? Where is the tear gas? Where are the rubber bullets? All there is now is a president about to be removed from office saying “I love you” to terrorists and a lack of any meaningful action on a federal level. 

Textbook terrorism can be defined simply: violent and dangerous acts to promote fear in order for a group to obtain a political objective. Terrorism does not always mean the existence of a scary, far away group in the middle east. Terrorism is here, in the United States, in the streets of Washington D.C. and downtown Los Angeles. It is the KKK, it is Kyle Rittenhouse, and it is white. 

The terrorism that we do see and are likely to see in the United States is not always labeled as such because it does not look like the terrorism that we see on television. Stemming from hatred and fear caused by the policies and actions of the Trump Administration, Donald Trump must take accountability for the events that took place on January 6th. He has actively worked to undermine the democratic systems in place within the United States, and his careless words have incited violence that has taken the life of an American this week and harmed countless others.


Video Footage Mentioned:

Rioters enter the capitol on the afternoon of January 6th, 2020: